Oz here we come!...bring on your roos cause we're ready for kick-boxing!!...OOPS!....the Admiral says "NO!" to fighting with kangaroos....make it "we'

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Sat 22 Oct 2011 23:51
22 45 S 155 21 E

4 days behind us and 1 in front; all is well. Did 207 nm through the water
in last 24 hours and only 193 over the bottom...>>> came up against some
tough adverse current for about 6 -8 hours overnite so that slowed our
progress against DTG (Distance To Go) but Sea Mist kept trucking along with
good BSP (Boat Speed average of over 8.5 kts...lots of 9+ kts....like right
now as I am writing, it is running at 9 - 9.4 BSP...now that's "cooking with
gas"...as we Canadians would express....eh?).

Along with the adverse current, the wind backed about 25 degrees making the
wind angle slower and with the swells (enhanced by the adverse
current...i.e. wind against tide) also backing from the South East to more
East-South-East and hitting us on our aft port quarter > giving us some of
that twisting/corkscrewing motion....the result for us humans was a much
tougher/rougher night...not much sleep. But shortly after the sun came up
this morning, most of those parameters came back to where they had been for
the voyage and everything became more comfortable, faster progress again
being made towards Australia .....and ALL IS GOOD...including good

We are going to really miss some of Vanuatu's offerings, particularly
RASPBERRIES !!!!....and then the best grapefruit I have ever had in my life
(hard to say that as the French Polynesian/Marquesas pamplemouse/grapefruit
were also excellent)....and terrific papaya....the locals call it pawpaw. I
have been eating 2 or 3 grapefruit a day (Cheryl half a one a day)...still 4
more to go. We just got into the last liter of raspberries this morning ( we
were going through an average of 4 liters of raspberries a day, all the time
we were in Port Vila) so REALLY going to miss those....sure was good to
freeze a few containers of those lovely berries before we left Port Vila 3
weeks ago. Only a couple of papayas left....so no problems on the fresh
fruit side of things. Hopefully, Oz won't seize our navel oranges but one
never knows. We are down to only 5 prepared meals after tonight's
dinner...sure hope they don't have to take these (maybe since they are
already cooked, they will leave with us????). Cheryl has been finishing off
the pate and brie. There are a few other goodies that we are keeping our
fingers crossed that they will leave us to enjoy...tomorrow morning we will
find out. All our breakfast cereals, dried fruit, etc are gone....but things
like Austalian 1 kg vacuum packed frozen boneless/skinless chicken breasts
should be allowed??...and Australian UHT milk??? And for those not familiar
with costs in this part of the world, here are prices for these treasures in
Luganville when we left: Grapefruit > 20 Vatu each i.e. 25 cents in US$;
raspberries in Port Vila 200 Vatu a liter i.e. US$2.25; and luganville
papaya 40 Vatu each 45 cents in US$. Oh...I forgot to mention bread:
absolutely the best home-made white bread we have ever experienced....at the
market in Port Vila 100 Vatu for a big loaf i.e. US$1.15 Now on to see
what Oz has to offer.....and charge....a bit of dread overcomes me on that
last aspect!

The most excitement in this past 24 hours was a VHF radio call from a French
Naval aircraft....call named "The Guardian"...who flew by us yesterday
afternoon just after we passed through Chesterfield Reef Grand Pass.....he
wanted to know our details and inquire if all was OK. The radio operator
could not have been more courteous....spoke great English with a very
pronounced Parisian French accent...and bid us well on our way to Oz. we
also heard him check in with about 10 other sailboats that were in those
French waters within 100 -200 nm of us....we could never hear the other
sailboat's side of the conversation but we would hear his side and could
note other boat's locations as he readback to them for confirmation that he
had it right.. Cheryl and I were chatting about just how great he was in his
interaction with all of us....clearly an absolute gem of an "ambassador" for
France to treat us in such a caring and friendly style.

Today, or early tomorrow morning, we anticipate a fly-by from the Australian
authorities to check us out; it is always a surprise when the normally quiet
radio comes alive with a clear/loud voice wanting you to respond. It is
really great to see that some of these countries (NZ, France, Oz) are out
here ensuring both your safety....and the security of their waters.

On a different subject.....well not really different since this note is a
blog posting.....we have been told that some of our photos based blog
postings did not post properly...some mistakes made by me when I rushed to
get them up in our short time in Luganville. I will get a chance to see the
our blog site myself once in Australia.....and remedy the problems....SORRY
ABOUT THAT! Usually, I have time to check the site after posting....but on
this occasion, there was no time for anything extra.

We have a number of friends who started out today to Oz from Noumea/New
Caledonia (including Leu Cat, Boree, Dream Caper) ...a bit shorter distance
than from Vanuatu...it will be about 800 nm for them; we also have our good
friends Kilkea and Dignity, who are waiting now for the right weather window
to present itself so that they can do their return sail to NZ for another
summer season there...Dignity from Fiji ....and Kilkea from Noumea. We
don't envy them doing the 1200 nm passage south to NZ....MUCH MUCH tougher
weather to deal with and therefore tougher sailing to go north - south in
these South Pacific waters than to go east to west in the tradewinds like we
are doing.

That's today's update....will check-in again with a posting once we have
arrived at Bundaberg tomorrow. We

Cheers to all....the Seamisters

DTG 197 nm (all of these DTG numbers are based on arrival at the outer
mark for approaching Bundeberg; from there we have another 6 nm to proceed
in through the channel from the ocean and up the river to the Bundaberg Port
Marina where we get cleared in by officials ....and where we will be now
making our new home/base location.)